Ellie May is already a mammoth hit at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.
“I think it’s incredible,” said Melodi Burkholder of Red Oak. “We’re from Ellis County, so knowing that she’s from here, it amazing.”
The 40,000 year old Colombian Mammoth was unearthed in an Ellis County sand/gravel pit in May of 2014, and quickly named after the county and month of her discovery.
“Mammoths really liked Texas back in the ice age, we find bits and pieces of them all over the place,” said Ron Tykoski, Perot Museum Fossil Preparator, “but what’s remarkable about this one is how complete it is.”
The skeleton of the female is more than 80% intact, found buried on its side.
“Whenever you find a complete skeleton of something from the ancient past it opens up the windows of being able to find and discover things and learn things about animals that otherwise you’re just guessing at,” said Tykoski.
Ellie May was between 18 to 20 years old when she died from unknown cases, and likely weighed around 3,000 pounds.
Experts from the Perot Museum carefully uncovered the bones after their accidental discovery, and worked quickly to put them on display.
“We dug that thing out of the ground, got all the pieces out, more or less intact, in all of three weeks,” said Tykoski. “We put everybody on it, and we managed to get that mammoth prepped in all of five months.”
On display just off the 3rd floor elevators at the Perot, Ellie May is flipped over on her other side to better show off her undisturbed bones.
“You know it doesn’t look like you would imagine it, does it? The way it’s laid out like that," said Damon McCullough of Plano. “But I guess it kind of tells a story, right?”
Ellie May was unveiled during a museum gala Saturday night.
Read more about Ellie May here.